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January 4, 2019

Home Away From Home: Two International Students Share Their Stories

Aman Ahmed (third from left) with other international students.

When Aman Ahmed arrived at Adelphi University from his native India, he couldn’t find any halal options at campus Dining Services. Being able to find meat that is permissible for him to eat is “a big deal,” he says, so Ahmed mentioned it to someone in the Office of International Student Services office. Within a few days, he began seeing halal dining options available on campus.

“The changes were accommodated without much hassle,” Ahmed says.

That spirit of accommodating diversity makes Adelphi an inviting place for hundreds of international students each semester.

For instance, International Student Services provides an orientation program for all new international students and matches each new student with a peer mentor “to help ease the transition and get adjusted to campus,” says Wendy Badala, director of International Student Services and the Interfaith Center. The office also hosts a Campus Orientation Workshop Series, which provides adjustment and professional development workshops throughout the semester, and publishes a monthly newsletter that describes upcoming events and campus information.

Making Connections

To further ease the transition from abroad, a mentor coffee-date program pairs newcomers with international students who have already logged time on campus.

“One of the reasons I came to enjoy life here at Adelphi is the presence of amiable upperclassmen who shared the same experiences as myself when they were in my shoes,” says Khang Dang, aA group of students takes a selfie together senior business major from Vietnam. “Through their guidance and assistance, I was able to acculturate and familiarize with the Adelphi campus and its people.”

Many international students later serve as mentors for other newcomers.

In addition to connecting with those who have similar experiences and learning the campus ropes, international students value the comfortable physical space that the Office of International Student Services offers. Post Hall’s second-floor lounge, where the office is located, is a relaxing place for international students to gather, visit, study or listen to music, Dang says.

Finding a Place

Beyond giving international students a warm welcome, Adelphi encourages them to engage with campus organizations. Many international students are involved in the International Student Society, the South Asian Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, the Korean Entertainment Club, the Accounting Society and Sikhs United, among others, Badala says.

Adelphi’s Center for Student Involvement provides resources for finding organizations and a place to belong. “The only task I had to do was to look where I fit in the puzzle at Adelphi as an international student,” Dang says.

Ahmed spent his first year joining various clubs on campus trying to find a good fit. During the past four years, he has held executive board positions with the International Student Society and the Marketing Management Society.

Dang also joined the International Student Society, a “home away from home” that helped him grow as a leader, and gave him a community, he says.

“Coming here has proven to be a worthwhile personal experience that I have come to cherish,” Dang he says.


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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

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